What You Need to Know About the New AWS Europe (Zürich) Region

You may have already heard that AWS launched a new region in Switzerland. Find out what you need to know about the new AWS Europe (Zurich) Region here.

Christina Harker

Christina Harker

Marketing

You may have heard that AWS launched a new region in Switzerland. This is the 28th zone globally, and the 7th launched in Europe. It’s officially known as AWS Europe (Zürich) Region and eu-central-2.

But what does having a new AWS zone mean for AWS users, especially those based in Switzerland? In this article, we’ll be going through what you need to know about this new AWS region and its predicted impact.

Why Switzerland?

So why was a new AWS region launched in Switzerland? Not only is it in the heart of central Europe - making it an optimal place to have an infrastructure hub  - but AWS is already widely adopted across the country. More than 10,000 active clients are using AWS technology in some form across Switzerland.

Historical AWS Investment in Switzerland

Choosing Switzerland as the location of a new AWS zone isn’t completely random. Switzerland has a robust startup culture - over 300 new startups are launched per year. Out of these, 25% are ICT fintech organisations, 25% general ICT, and 25% biotech. These are all industries that can, and do, benefit heavily from cloud infrastructures. AWS choosing to invest in this culture is not surprising.

But this focus on Swiss digital transformation isn’t recent. AWS has historically invested quite heavily in the country for over 15 years. The AWS Activate initiative was launched in 2013, aimed at supporting Swiss startups. They opened up their first office in Zurich in 2016, with a Geneva office opening on the back of that in 2017. In the same year (2017) two points of presence were launched in the country. These PoPs help deliver AWS WAF, Amazon CloudFront, AWS Shield, Amazon Route 53, and Lambda@Edge throughout Switzerland. Recently, a new office has opened in Bern. 

The Benefits of a Swiss AWS Region

As we can see, a new AWS region coming to Switzerland makes quite a bit of sense. And the investment that it’ll bring to the country’s economy - as well as the day-to-day operations of Swiss AWS users - is very exciting. Let’s take a look at what the benefits will be.

Economic Impact

The launch of the Europe (Zurich) Region comes in line with AWS’s 15 year plan to invest in relevant infrastructure and operations across Switzerland. But what does this look like? AWS is set to invest 5.9 billion Swiss Francs from 2022-36. This is intended to cover operational and capital costs accrued from constructing, developing, and maintaining the AWS region. With such a large investment - and a service that’s easier to access - a lot of jobs are projected to come from this. In fact, there’s an estimated 2,500 jobs thought to come from the new launch - both direct hires and indirect employment employment. With all of this, it has been projected that the opening of AWS Europe (Zurich) Region and the continued investment will result in 16.3 billion Swiss Francs contributed into the country’s GDP from this year to 2036. Pretty impressive!

User Impact

At a top line economic level, we can see that the impact of the new AWS zone is pretty impressive. But what will it mean for Swiss AWS users and their businesses? The good news is that having a new AWS region will result in further improvements for availability and performance. The new zone features data centres spread across three fully redundant availability zones around Zurich. The presence of this will greatly benefit availability and reduce the risk of downtime - if one goes down, there’s still back up.

From a performance perspective, having a nearer AWS region to Swiss organisations will again create benefits. The foundation of the AWS region network consists of a fully redundant 100 GbE fibre network, which now extends directly into Switzerland. This means that users can now store data locally - instead of in another region - giving them more control over it. Having a local region also means that users have more control over data residency requirements. An extended network also improves low latency requirements. Simply put: easier access to high performance cloud services.

Another benefit of this new zone is that AWS account managers will be local in Switzerland. This will greatly improve support requirements that Swiss AWS teams can meet. Localised knowledge of the AWS landscape in Switzerland, as well as legal compliance standards, is sure to come in handy. 

Scaling Swiss digital applications in lieu of the new AWS region is set to be faster, even more cost efficient, flexible, and fault tolerant. It’s really a great development for cloud infrastructure!

In Summary

The new AWS Europe (Zurich) Region is the next step in AWS investing in Switzerland’s digital transformation. Not only does this bring benefits from a country-wide economic standpoint but the day-to-day operations of Swiss AWS users will be improved too. Local access to AWS resources is set to improve availability and performance for Swiss-based cloud applications, as well as giving users even more control over their data.